Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Saturday, February 02, 2013
2/02/13 at 2:59 AM
1978 - Taft fires comedian
Comedian Redd Foxx, who had promised to lift the black community of Taft out of financial straits, was fired as the town's honorary police chief, the position he was given more than four years earlier after he asked Mayor Lela Foley for the appointment. "It turned out to be a nightmare," Foley said. The mayor said Foxx had given Taft a bus for use by senior citizens but took it back and had given the city two "used and broken-down" police cars. He also had announced a $10,000 donation for a swimming pool but the check was made out to the Redd Foxx Foundation and the city couldn't cash it.
1980 - Sting nets officials
A two-year undercover sting operation involving agents who posed as bribe-paying Arab businessmen and targeted federal, state and city officials - including a U.S. senator and six congressmen - was revealed by the FBI. Called by some the biggest investigation since Watergate, the sting operation was code-named "Abscam" for "Arab Scam." The senator and five congressmen were convicted of bribery and conspiracy, as were five other officials.
1998 - Clinton budget surplus
President Bill Clinton unveiled a $1.73 trillion budget claiming the first surpluses in 30 years and pumping billions to schools, health and child care. But House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, scoffed, "This is a budget only a liberal could love." Clinton's blueprint was a proposal only, and many of its initiatives were dropped or changed by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
2011 - Snow cripples state
Oklahomans were digging out from record snowfalls - 14 inches in Tulsa and even more in other places - that hit the previous day and closed schools, businesses, streets and highways. Tulsa streets manager Paul Strizek said that in his 33 years with the Public Works Department he had never seen such a severe combination of wind and deep snow drifts.
"There are hundreds and hundreds of cars stranded in the city. Even with 4-wheel drive, people are having difficulty getting around," he said.
For the first time in its 106-year history the Tulsa World did not produce and deliver a print edition for three days because the deep snow prohibited delivery. Regular print editions resumed Feb. 5. Additional snow fell a few days later, adding 5.5 inches to Tulsa's total and 20-25 inches in Delaware County.
Tim Houchin of Broken Arrow walks up an empty Fourth Street in downtown Tulsa in 2011. CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World file